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Zugg Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:02 pm
zMUDXP Poll

What would you think about a new zMUDXP Product
As an existing zMUD user, I would buy zMUDXP for half-price ($15)
33%
 33%  [ 46 ]
As an existing zMUD user, I would NOT buy zMUDXP...I'd just keep using the zMUD that I'm currently using
13%
 13%  [ 19 ]
I would be *so* excited that I would buy zMUDXP at half price and then upgrade to zMUDXP-PRO
28%
 28%  [ 40 ]
I would be really *upset* that zMUDXP wasn't considered a free upgrade to zMUD like you've always promised!
24%
 24%  [ 34 ]
Total Votes : 139

Xymog
Novice


Joined: 16 Oct 2000
Posts: 43
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:03 pm   
 
Just had a thought for the zTelnet concept (if Zugg is willing to pursue it):

The ability to generate a graphical network topology would be insanely useful. I hate the thought of trying to use Visio when all I want is a simple diagram of what's connected on my local subnet. I don't even need to know what services are available, just what devices are hooked up. There may be a way to do this now with scripting, but as I'm a complete n00b when it comes to fathoming scripts, a simple plug-scan-and-draw solution would totally rock.

Of course this goes against my earlier suggestion of ripping out the mapper. On the other hand, people in general seem to prefer an all-in-the-box solution, rather than a la carte. Maybe this means there's a switchable interface of some kind that can go from business-like (for sysadmins) to fun-like (for MUDders). Call it a "personality" switch that loads in different modules and perhaps some different menu options available.** Food for thought, in any event.

**UI comment: it is very, VERY bad design to have menus dynamically change content without providing feedback to the user. "Disappearing" menu options that hide and reappear are not acceptable. Greying out menu options is acceptable, though the online help should provide information why the user can't perform the action (such as trying to "bold" a graphic). Sorry for the OT comment.
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Daffyd
Beginner


Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:26 pm   
 
Zugg,

I think you do yourself and your company a disservice by discounting the professional telnet/SSH market for many of the reasons I listed above.

Xymog wrote:
Just had a thought for the zTelnet concept (if Zugg is willing to pursue it):


And I hope he is willing to reconsider that decision as well. For minimal addiitonal coding he could open up an entire market segment that ignores him currently. And while I don't know how much "professional" telnet clients cost, I do know that most "professional" Windows networking applications have a absolutely rediculous price tag. A $30 a seat license for a zTelnet app would probably come in at about 1/4 the cost of WRQ Reflections and have far more open ended functionality.

Quote:
The ability to generate a graphical network topology would be insanely useful. I hate the thought of trying to use Visio when all I want is a simple diagram of what's connected on my local subnet. I don't even need to know what services are available, just what devices are hooked up. There may be a way to do this now with scripting, but as I'm a complete n00b when it comes to fathoming scripts, a simple plug-scan-and-draw solution would totally rock.


Holy$#^@#$!!! Wish I'd thought of that! That expands the market from just helpdesk and generic network types to remote NOCs now. Imagine if you could telnet into a remote system and get a graphical representation of the heath of each device, again for a miniscule fraction of the cost of the "professional" applications such as HP OpenView. Looks like I'll be taking some serious scripting classes (Java/Perl/Python) in the forseeable future. Wonder what it would take to make an SNMP plugin for zMud..... Can't wait for zMUDXP with the zApp front end, should be even easier then.

Quote:
Of course this goes against my earlier suggestion of ripping out the mapper. On the other hand, people in general seem to prefer an all-in-the-box solution, rather than a la carte. Maybe this means there's a switchable interface of some kind that can go from business-like (for sysadmins) to fun-like (for MUDders). Call it a "personality" switch that loads in different modules and perhaps some different menu options available. Food for thought, in any event.


Yeah, I guess the ala carte idea wasn't so good. I'm used to dealing with a variety of systems and like the idea of being able to strip down software for minimal systems. I really like your idea for the "personality switch" tho. I strongly feel that if the game related stuff (no longer including the mapper, now just primarily the Mud Connector) were not blatantly in-your-face that business would be very interested. I'll be making this a post in the Wish List thread, thanks.


Last edited by Daffyd on Wed Aug 31, 2005 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wotmudmad
Newbie


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:29 pm   
 
I've got a good few years out of zmud which is pretty good value for what I paid for.

The reason I bought it however was for the mapper. Like a lof of fellow mudders I only do occasional scripting and most of the scripts I wrote were to make mapping easier, ie more control over what the mapper does using the keyboard, room colours and so on...

As such when you released Zmapper as a seperate product I felt like I was being asked to pay twice when I had already paid for the functionality for mapping my mud.

While other features will no doubt ice the cake, the key to zmudxp for me personally will be it's mapper, if it's much better then i'll upgrade, otherwise I'll just keep on with what I have.
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Fates
Newbie


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Calgary AB CA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:02 pm   
 
I will upgrade to it once it comes out but one thing I haven't seen mentioned is whether I'd be able to have it installed at home and mobile system as I can now. Are we going to to still have the ability to run multiple machines with it?

Hopefully zMUDXP is ready for the public soon, as I don't know how much longer I'm going to have a system with 32bit WinXP on it. As it stands Zmud is one of the few applications holding me back from this.
Fates
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:31 pm   
 
The new copy protection that replaces eLicense is more like the "old days" of zMUD where it is licensed to *you* as a user, rather than being licensed to a particular computer. I'm not using any hardware locking in the new system. So you'll actually be able to install it on as many computers as you want.

Yes, in theory some people will abuse this open policy and will install it for their friends. But your name and email address are tied to the reg code and your name gets displayed in the About box and in the main zMUD character selection screen. So your friends might eventually get tired of seeing your name and buy their own copy. In any case, these kinds of people probably aren't buying the current version of zMUD anyway, so it might actually increase sales over time.

Also, your license can only be installed within 7 days after it is issued. Registered users can always visit our new store, log into their customer account, and retrieve a new license at a later time. But the system limits how often you can get a new license. So again, when your friends reformat their computer and then discover that the license key you gave them no longer works, they will be encouraged to buy their own copy.

Basically, the new copy protection only prevents reg codes from being posted to the Internet. Since reg codes are only valid for 7 days, any code posted to the net or posted to a MUD won't work forever.

The time limit only applies to the initial installation. Once your license key is entered into the program, the program will continue working forever. Only when you reformat your disk will you need a new license, which you get from the Zuggsoft store.

It's a bit of a risk, but I think customers will be *much* happier with this looser type of protection, and it might increase sales from people who hated the eLicense system. Also, this is a test for the new zMUDXP client. If sales of zMUD plummet with the looser copy protection, then I will be forced to go back to something stronger for zMUDXP. But I'd hate to be forced to do that since the hardware locking in the new copy protection program would only allow you to use it on *one* computer. The only way to allow multiple computers like eLicense did is with the same kind of "phone home" technology that it uses, and that's exactly what I'm trying to get away from.

Hopefully the vast majority of zMUD users will be honest and help this new system succeed.

As far as time frames...as most people know, I hate giving time frames, because they always seem to be wrong. But my current goals call for a new version of the normal zMUD client that uses the new copy protection within just a week or two. I'm almost done with the new copy protection and with the brand new Zuggsoft shopping cart and customer service store. *All* Zuggsoft products (not just zMUD) will be released with the new copy protection, along with software to handle the upgrades to the new system automatically. This will be a free upgrade, since it's still zMUD that you are using and not zMUDXP.

zMUDXP (which will have a different name) will probably take about two months before it's ready for its first release. But that is a *very fuzzy* estimate. It really depends upon what new features I end up putting into the first version, and it depends upon how easily I'm able to port some of the old code like the parser into the new version. A lot of zMUDXP will be written from scratch using zApp, but certain parts like the parser will probably be directly ported to maintain as much script compatibility as possible.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:00 pm   
 
Regarding the mapper: I am *not* going to encorporate zMapper into zMUD for free. zMapper provides many of the mapper enhancements that some people are asking for and works as a zMUD plugin. If any zMapper features are added to zMUDXP, it will only be in a plugin or "pro" version of zMUDXP. I still prefer the plugin approach since then people who don't care about fancier mapper features don't have to be burdened with it.

Now, with that said, it's certainly possible that the operation of the mapper with MUDs will improve in zMUDXP, and it's possible that zMapper itself will get improved as a new plugin for zMUDXP. But the *visual* enhancements provided by zMapper, like icons, custom room shapes, background images, etc, will continue to be done with zMapper as an add-on to zMUDXP. It wouldn't be fair to the people who purchased zMapper to suddenly put all of this functionality into zMUD for free. And the additional price for zMapper is trivial for people who really care about enhancing their maps.

In fact, I'm really getting tired of the "cost" issues that some people have. Sure, in places like Russia $29.95 US is a big deal. But for the majority of people using zMUD, you need to take a look at other costs and compare the value of zMUD. I spent more than $20 just going to the movies last week, and it's costing me about $30 each time I fill up my car with gasoline these days. I've also paid a lot more for various bits of software that do a lot less than zMUD and have a lot more bugs and problems than zMUD. zMUD costs the same as about one month (or 1-1/2 months) of Gamefly rentals for console video games and many people have been using zMUD on a daily basis for years!

I'm always interested in providing the best software value that I can, and I still think software should be inexpensive (see my rant about Project Management software for example). But people who continue to whine about the price of zMUD itself are going to get less and less sympathy from me. I'm starting to learn that the people who complain about price will complain no matter *what* the price is and just think that everything should be free. Typically those kind of people are very young and haven't had to work a real job and pay real bills in their life yet.

Sorry if this turned into a rant. And I'm *not* talking about raising prices here. I'm just saying that people should look at the value they have gotten with zMUD over the years and should know that I tend to ignore people who whine about the price.
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Caled
Sorcerer


Joined: 21 Oct 2000
Posts: 821
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:44 am   ....stufff :p
 
Of course.. no probs with paying for it. I've gotten more "value" out of zmud that any other program I've ever bought (or not bought?). Value for time spent, I mean.

If the trigger and script parser can somehow end up faster, I'd be over the moon. I don't know if that is possible or not, but a truth is that during the last six months, most of my scripting has been trying to get what I already have to operate faster. Either that or using what I've learned from doing so to write stuff that I've wanted to write for a long time but been unable to because it has created too much drag. At some times I find myself jealous of mushclient users, though not for long and not very often.

Something that would help in that, but is only partially related, is the way we can handle prompt triggers in zmud. The prompt section in preferences allows a simple prompt trigger, capturing variables, to run at a level that is much faster than a normal trigger. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to capture non-mumerical values, and it doesn't allow us to change/add to the prompt with a #SUBS command. If I could capture an alpha-numerical prompt with this AND add a timestamp to my prompt that is accurate to hundreths of a second, I'd be ecstatic. If I could change my prompt around I'd be even happier. I know it is possible as well.

I'd love more than a single status window.

Idea:
www.litestep.com
LiteStep is an open source windows shelling program. The site has hundreds of user-created and posted shells that I can download and try out. Its a lot of fun.

When you explained the advantages of zmudxp being written in zapp and using directx, I was reminded of this site and concept. On the IRE mud forums, there have been several threads where people post screenshots of their client.. generally zmud. They are showing off the cool stuff they've done with buttons, status windows and docked child windows. Asthetic pics of their character and similar, to create atmosphere. Useful layouts for combat.. some of the stuff they've come up with is pretty neat.

Those people will have a field day when they see what can be done with zmudxp. Perhaps there could be a similar section of the website, like the litestep site, that people can post their creations to. If this were the case, do you think it may increase sales of the PRO version upgrade? (no point if it wont, but the fact is that the majority of users don't have and will never have the ability to use what is in the PRO version, yet if they could benefit from it anyway.. )

Edit: Bleh.. wrong thread, damnit.
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Relax
Newbie


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:21 pm   
 
Product name is a tricky one. Obviously including zMUD in the name is good for marketing reasons, but a lawyer might argue that you would still be bound by the "free upgrades for life" if zMUD is in the name.

From an end-user perspective, compatability will be a big issue. Is the plan to basically re-write zMUD as zAPP application, to allow best compatability, or to create something essentially new? Would adding zApp based plugins require zApp User?

As a developer, I love the idea! I quite like zMUD, but am frustrated by not being able to easily and neatly add GUI components, and the lack of a generic event-handling interface. I haven't tried zAPP yet, but from reading the blurb, it seems the ActiveX support in zAPP and hence zMUDXP would resolve this nicely.

Relax
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:08 am   
 
Don't worry about the name. I've got one picked out already that will be great...I'm just keeping it a surprise ;)

zMUDXP will be mostly compatible with zMUD. But this will be a case-by-case decision. For example, some old obscure parsing "tricks" might not work in the new version. If your scripts pass the syntax checker, then there shouldn't be any problem. My guess is that there will be conversion programs to convert settings files, maps, databases, scripts, etc from the current zMUD to the new zMUDXP client.

To *run* a zApp-based plugin, you don't need zApp (assuming the plugin developer compiled it). You need zApp to create your own plugins, and you need zApp PRO to compile your plugins so other people can use them.
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nexela
Wizard


Joined: 15 Jan 2002
Posts: 1644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:12 am   
 
Well we are on the topic of plugins. What are your plans for the Zmud Dev Kit?
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:52 am   
 
The people who bought the DevKit will probably at least get a copy of zApp End-User. The plugins created by the DevKit (API-based and COM-based) will probably work also still work in the new client, but I can't really promise that unless I get something more concrete ready.

I'll be able to post a lot more information in a month or so when I have more code. The zMUDXP project has gotten delayed because I decided to go ahead and remove eLicense in the current zMUD, and doing that and getting the new ecommerce site ready has been taking up all my time. I originally thought that I'd leave eLicense in zMUD and only remove it in the new zMUDXP. But I decided that it would reduce my support headaches if I just got rid of eLicense in everything right now instead of waiting.

Anyway, you can post questions, but this early in the project is hard to answer with a lot of details.
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karamin
Newbie


Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:33 pm   
 
I have used zMud since I moved away from terminal based telnet. I will happily buy whatever version will be evaluated/worked on the most, be it the one I am using now or XP.

You lead, and we will follow.
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asm
Wanderer


Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:19 pm   
 
Hm...Haven't been around on these forums for a while...Not sure I like what I smell cooking either...
And no, I didn't read most of the last 8 pages, so maybe(probably) this has already come up, and and I guess you can flame me if it has....
But this makes me feel kind of cheated. There was another company I licensed a product from, and they promised that their'd always be free upgrades. However...Well, they next version they said they'd come out with was going to be free, alright. But in order to actually use it, you had to license the core components from another company....So I just said screw it.

I must say that business practices like that irk me and make me rather disinclined to license further products from them...
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:23 pm   
 
Sorry, but I think you need to read this entire thread. Things have evolved a *lot* since the first post.
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Niko
Newbie


Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:43 pm   
 
For me, the most important thing in order to buy zMUDXP would be how stable and eficient it can work with database(s). My impression is that while there has been added a lot of whistles and bells recently, the way DB works hasn't changed much. Its still rather unstable and a lot of unxpected errors can be expected. Its very offen, when fucntions which are supposed to work do not, or work in a bit different way. As the result one has to spend a lot of time just to be able to write script for work with DB. Most confusing is, of course, when you are trying to manually enter data in DB (Im using v7.04) - that happens sometimes when you want to fix some data there - it might happen that DB for some reason change contents of some cells. Needless to say, that there is almost no way to revert those changes.
To conclude, if new zMUD will contain advanced and stable DB I will buy it.
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Mudimm
Beginner


Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:41 pm   
 
i know you are busy but any timeline when we might hear somehting about zMUDXP?
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Zerebro
Newbie


Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Gouda, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 7:01 am   
 
I chose: As an existing zMUD user, I would buy zMUDXP for half-price ($15)

Why did I choose this?

Something about myself, I'm working in the software industry myself, also involved in release-management. Therefore I realise that, codewise and spent effort, would justify a new product, unless it's totally new!
When I'd tell clients to buy an upgrading license when we (the company I work) would release a totally new version, they will leave massively (based on a survey/interview amongst most clients) and use a different product.
But.. now we've tossed out the current client (Progress) and will go web-based. Only the processes will remain. A different technique, same database type, totally different interface. And for this the clients are willing to upgrade. We also give them a big discount when upgrading.

So, only a huge change would be worth for me to upgrade for half price. And for me there isn't a new aspect of zMUDXP that would convince me for upgrading.

For example: toss out all you know now and think about vision. Mine would be: create a client that supports graphic navigation etc. The MUD I play in is more dead than alive, just because there are more and more graphic MMPOGs. And zMUD doesn't have an answer for that! :)
So, wouldn't it be awesome to create your own world/extensions to your favorite MUD in graphics? Include a world-builder engine. On the MUD I play, we have our own Areacreator (http://mud.nu), made in Java. It really speeds up areabuilding.

Think like creating maps for Battlefield!

Anyway, I'll post more in the suggestions-thread.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:29 pm   
 
I guarentee that everyone will agree that zMUDXP (or whatever it gets called) will be completely different than zMUD in *many* ways, and that these changes will all improve MUDding. Once people see how different zMUDXP is they will wonder how they ever played without it. It is almost as big as the difference between zMUD itself and regular telnet. How's that for a teaser ;)

As far as timescale and more details, I'm not saying anything yet. I've done too much hyping of new products in the past and then gotten burned when they took longer than I expected.

Originally, I wasn't going to replace eLicense until I did zMUDXP. But I decided to give existing zMUD users a break and replace eLicense in all of my products sooner rather than later. This conversion took longer than I thought because I had to create an entire ecommerce and shopping cart system myself. Now that the conversion to the new copy protection system is complete, I'm working directly on zMUDXP now.

But zMUDXP has evolved from my original idea. At the beginning of this thread I was just planning to fix a few things and call it zMUDXP. Then I decided to write zMUDXP using zApp. And now the entire MUD interface that I'm planning has completely changed (for the better). So it's become a much bigger project that I originally thought and will take longer to release. But I'm still committed to getting it out this fall.

But I'm not going to talk about specific features yet. I'm walking a fine line between getting feedback from zMUD users and talking about new features too soon. And I don't want to over-hype it yet. I want to wait until I have something real and concrete for people to use and comment on. You'll see an extended Beta testing period for zMUDXP when people can comment on the specific interface and make suggestions for improving it.

On your specific request, doing an AreaCreator is not feasible. zMUD needs to work with ALL different types of MUDs, MUSHes, MOOs, etc. I can't give preference to any particular MUD code base or pick any specific world-builder format...all MUDs are different. However, zMUDXP will have a completely different plugin system that will allow *much* greater flexibility and function in plugins, so it's very possible that particular MUDs will be able to easily write plugins to support their own area building formats.
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adamwalker
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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:02 pm   do people ever learn
 
Quote:
Once people see how different zMUDXP is they will wonder how they ever played without it. It is almost as big as the difference between zMUD itself and regular telnet. How's that for a teaser ;)

As far as timescale and more details, I'm not saying anything yet. I've done too much hyping of new products in the past and then gotten burned when they took longer than I expected.


I thought you wasnt going to hype it, and you hyped it in the im not gonna hype it paragraph! how could you, im not going to sleep for weeks now!

as for my input.... yes it always comes down to money. You dont like that your putting all this work into a new product and people expect it for free. And some people dont like that it isnt free.

all i gotta say is this..

If you want zmud to be customer-driven, you need to be a DAMN CUSTOMER. For zmud to get better you need to pay for the privalidge or good ole zugg here will retire to his private island and be pampered by mud wresting beauties.

Because it isnt free, and because zugg rightly and proudly claims zmud is customer driven, you have the RIGHT to go onto the forums and say what you like/dont like to zugg can hopefully improve it for us all. infact im betting that zugg welcomes your constructive criticisms and compliments.

I for one would pay for zmudXP full price, just so I can get the bugs fixed, my features implemented, and the community alive.
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darkspot
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Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:01 pm   
 
While the poll is closed, I'd like to say, that I do recommend zmud to many of my friends (though only gotten 4 to purchase so far, most mudders seem to be cheap :P), I would definatly find paying for a new version of zMud, the program I've used for years now, would be no problem. I continually pay for other programs such as norton anti-virus, and other such programs. Mac users have to buy each new release. Be glad we got so much for free so far :P. Though I wouldn't hate a discount on ZMUDXP (Whatever it will be called in the future.), especially if we upgrade straight from zmud to zmudxp-pro?
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jinkx
Newbie


Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:30 pm   
 
Looks like I'm also to late for the poll, but for what it's worth, as a long time zmud/zmud beta user, I would purchase (depending on release type) either an upgrade to or the full up pro version of your new product. Zmud was the very first product I ever bought and the one that has provided the most satisfaction/value compared to all the other products I've purchased since then.
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darkspot
Apprentice


Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:55 am   
 
I also forgot to mention the wonderful tech support that is constatnly supplied by these forums... that alone is worth paying for the new one :P
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internetgamer007
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:35 pm   ...
 
I'd buy it again... if there were also a linux version that were to come out with it.
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Guinn
Wizard


Joined: 03 Mar 2001
Posts: 1127
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:12 pm   
 
No Linux version for a number of reasons, see various other messages. That horse is already dead.
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galldron
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
Posts: 34
Location: Elanthia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:07 am   
 
This may have been addressed but... Why not just make all purchases of zMudXP come bundled with zMud "classic"
Once XP is released I would think that zMud sales will bottom out shortly there after and since you will only be basically removing bugs in classic you wont specifically need to financially support it the majority of support necessary will be that for XP PRO and your other software
I currently have 2 liscense's of zMud and have friends that also do yet we are looking forward to XP and PRO possibilities. Sure we will miss free upgrades for life but $20 dollars a year ($40 every 2 years) is alot less than most of us spend on BAD programs and wish we hadnt.
With zMud we have a proven track record of quality and a designer that Listens to us... for that matter how many other commercial designers can you speak with directly or indirectly the way we can with Zugg?

Just my 2 coins Zugg
Keep up the good work
me and most of my friends have your back regardless of the choice you make
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